Earlier this month, Spotify announced their new podcast series Renegades: Born In The USA hosted by Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama. Throughout each episode, the two chat about growing up, music, and their “enduring love of America.” But with their upcoming episode, the Obama and Springsteen get to the heart of their love for music by discussing which artist had an impact on them as children.
Spotify released a preview of Monday’s Renegades podcast where Obama recalls the music he grew up listening to in Hawaii. Obama revealed that while he enjoyed Top 40 songs on the radio, the first album he ever purchased with his own money was Talking Book by Stevie Wonder:
“First album I bought with my own money: Talking Book [by] Stevie Wonder. I would sit with a banged-up little old turn table, kind of a plastic-y looking turn table. I got myself some earphones so my grandparents would not complain. I would sing along to every Stevie Wonder song for hours. […] Hawaii was a place where you had Top 40s. Casey Kasem [the DJ] was on. I’m ten, eleven years old listening to the radio and there’s songs that I end up just getting really attached to. You got a 10-year-old singing, ‘Let’s Get It On’ [by Marvin Gaye]. There was another song by Billie Paul, ‘Me And Mrs. Jones.’ Joni Mitchell came out with ‘Court And Spark,’ I was like 11, 12 years old. I don’t know what that feeling is, but it seems fascinating.”
It’s fitting that Obama’s first-purchased album was by Stevie Wonder, as the two have met before. In fact, Obama presented the musician with the Presidential Medal of Freedom back in 2014.
Listen to a clip of Obama and Springsteen’s Renegades: Born In The USA podcast above.